PC shipments to rise 11 per cent in 2008

PC shipments to rise 11 per cent in 2008

Mobile devices are driving sales but economic problems may hinder growth, says Gartner

Global computer shipments will grow 11 per cent in 2008 but economic instability still casts a shadow over the market, according to analyst Gartner.

The number of worldwide PCs shipped is expected to rise to 293 million units this year, up from 264 million in 2007. The growing popularity of mobile computers is a key driver behind the figures, as falling prices make laptops and other devices an increasingly attractive alternative to desktop units.

Computers shipped to new, emerging markets will also play an important role in 2008, having been responsible for 60 per cent of the growth in the final quarter last year, said Gartner.

But shipments may yet be affected by the current economic climate, according to research director George Shiffler. The US is still suffering under the impact of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, while China's economy may slow following the Beijing Olympics.

"Although the impact has probably softened over time as prices have fallen and PCs have become more indispensable to work and play, computers are still far from being completely recession-proof," said Shiffler.

"A deeper and more extended global slowdown emanating from the US and China would slow PC unit growth even more by sapping mobile device demand, slowing emerging-market growth, and delaying replacement activity."